Children have a natural desire to design and make things and we encourage this through the teaching of Design and Technology.
Design and Technology is a highly practical and creative subject, which equips children with a range of crucial life skills that they need for the future. At Fairlawn Primary School, children will learn how to design, build, create, evaluate and problem-solve through a design technology curriculum which has been built upon the appropriate subject knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum Design and Technology programmes of study. Children will work in a range of contexts through our topic based approach which allows for cross curricular links to be made. Using creativity and imagination, children will design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, our intent is that children will develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and how it has helped shape the world we now live in.
Early Years Foundation Stage
The teaching of design and technology at Fairlawn Primary School begins with and builds upon the Early Learning Goals for Expressive Arts and Design and Understanding of the world within the EYFS. We provide a range of experiences that encourage exploration, observation, problem solving, critical thinking and discussion, in order to help the children make sense of their world. This learning forms the foundations for later work in Design and Technology. These early experiences include asking questions about how things work, investigating and using a variety of construction kits, materials, tools and products, developing making skills and handling appropriate tools and construction material safely and with increasing control. These activities, both indoors and outdoors, attract the children’s interest and curiosity.
Key Stage 1 and 2
Our Design and Technology curriculum is implemented through a variety of different projects over the children’s time at Fairlawn Primary School.
Through the support of the Design and Technology Association (DATA) scheme, Projects on a Page, children will experience an array of different progressive and linkable skills and techniques over the course of a child’s time at Fairlawn Primary School. This ensures that children are constantly building upon previous learning and are able to expand their knowledge and understanding of problem solving, designing and constructing different products. Children will complete 3 projects a year, either having one lesson a week over a term or a DT day to complete each project so children are fully immersed in the research-design-make-evaluate process.
Across key stage 1 and 2, children will be exposed to the five key areas of design and technology: food, mechanisms, textiles, electrical systems and structures. We have allowed flexibility for it to be covered and revisited over a two- year period to support children in gaining a deeper understanding of this knowledge.
• Children are given a variety of real- life products to explore in great detail, expanding their knowledge of how they look and work, allowing children to evaluate products against their target market and purpose.
• For each project, children follow the design-make and evaluate sequence, allowing children time to reflect upon their design and products and think of ways that they could be improved or adapted. Teachers support and model increasingly progressive evaluative skills to enable children to create products of a high-quality throughout school.
• Children are given a design brief to put the need for the product in context. Where possible, teachers ensure that the brief is linked to another area of their learning or has relevance to the children to inspire their imagination and eagerness to create and problem solve.
• Safety is explained and modelled at the start of and throughout each product including food hygiene instructions.
In KS1, children will:
- Design products based on design criteria.
- Communicate their ideas through talking and drawing.
- Select appropriate materials and equipment to perform practical tasks.
- Explore and evaluate existing products and their ideas against design criteria.
- Test and improve existing structures.
- Understand where food comes from and the principles of a healthy diet.
In KS2, children will:
- Research and develop design criteria to design purposeful, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose and are aimed at particular individuals or groups.
- Model and communicate ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, exploded diagrams, protypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design.
- Select from a wide range of tools, materials or ingredients and equipment to perform practical tasks accurately.
- Investigate and analyse a range of existing products.
- Evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work.
- Apply their understanding to test and improve more complex existing structures.
- Understand and use mechanical or electrical systems.
- Apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.
- Prepare and cook dishes using a range of cooking techniques.
- Understand seasonality of ingredients.
Within design and technology, we strive to prepare children to take part in the development of tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. We aim to encourage children to become creative problem-solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team. Through the study of design and technology, children combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, as well as of functions and industrial practices. This allows them to reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and its impact. Our design and technology curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills and discreet vocabulary progression also form part of the units of work.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before and after the unit is taught.
- Summative assessment of pupil discussions about their learning.
- Images and videos of the children’s practical learning.
- Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Moderation staff meetings where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
- Marking of work in books.